Coach Mark Richt was able to keep his staff in place despite runs being made at Willie Martinez, John Jancek, Stacey Searles and Rodney Garner. Raises were awarded and new hyphenated titles were assigned. Coaching continuity was the claim.
Today, the program sits in near exactly the place we were when Richt arrived. Disappointing losses compounded by what may have been irrational expectations.
Jim Donan said the 2001 edition of the Georgia Bulldogs was the finest semblance of talent he had ever coached. He had waited his whole life for this opportunity.
In 2007, the pollsters hung the preseason number one on us.
I will not go over everything that has happened since, you already know. This space has been filled with "what ifs" regarding letting Willie go, mostly dealing with Rodney Garner, our ace recruiter. Certainly John Jancek, he of the hyphenated title, believes he would make just as fine, if not better, defensive coordinator as Rodney Garner. Based on recent performance, neither should be expected to do worse than the current DC.
Do the problems run deeper? We have heard rumblings about our strength and conditioning for a while now. Just this morning, Stacey Searles was called out by the Grit Tree. John Lily, tight ends coach and damn fine recruiter, has not gotten much from his group, especially where blocking is concerned. Coach Richt has openly called out the performance of our running backs. Bryan McClendon, the former Dawg receiver, is in his first year coaching running backs. Mike Bobo, the former Dawg quarterback, has had his play calling called into question by everyone not named Richt.
John Fabris's handling of kickoff coverage has been a horror. His defensive ends have not fared too much better. Jancek's linebackers, despite Rennie Curran's eye popping tackles count, have been a liability. Garner's defensive tackles, long a hallmark of Georgia football, have simply underachieved. Martinez also coaches the defensive backs, not exactly the strength of the team at this point.
There are some bright spots. AJ Green is a monster and our most reliable offensive threat. Notice AJ's position coach, Tony Ball, is the only member of the staff not mentioned above. Even Ball had his WTF moments in Stillwater and the following days. Blair Walsh and Drew Butler have been outstanding. I am not sure how much credit and coach deserves for their performance.
So I ask you Bulldawg Nation, which of these coaches should stay, and which should go? I, for one, do not know.
Please take a moment to complete the polls to the right. (http://dawgsbui.blogspot.com)